Briefing Room: Seal Beach crime by the numbers

Hi Seal Beach,

Last week I attempted to answer the difficult question of “how safe is Seal Beach” in terms of crime and public safety. Obviously, there is a lot to unpack with the question, and countless factors impact how “safe” our community is. To help emphasize my point, for this week’s article I will include some specific crime data related to incidents in Seal Beach.

However, before I provide any numbers, please note that these numbers and percentages are approximate and can change based on case adjudication. The data below reflects the change in the number of crimes committed in 2021 compared to 2019 (as we know them today).

During this three-year period:

• Assault and battery – up 2% (note, this is the difference between two additional incidents in 2019 vs. 2021)

• Crimes involving minors – down 45%

• Criminal threats – down 25%

• DUI – down 39%

• Evading/obstructing/delaying a peace officer – down 13%

• Fraud/forgery/identity theft – up 1%

• Larceny/burglary/theft – down 8%

• Robbery – down 40%

• Trespassing – down 9%

• Under the influence of alcohol/drugs (not driving) – down 12%

• Vandalism – up 31%

• Vehicle/driving violations – down 9%

• Warrant arrests/parole violations – down 26%

• Possession of prohibited weapons – up 28%

• Possession of prohibited substance (drugs) – up 16%

• Stolen/recovered vehicles – up 54%

• OVERALL CRIME – down 4.41%

Despite crime being down 4.41%, our call volume has increased 1.5%.

Additionally, we have logged more than 30,734 citizen contacts in 2021 (compared to 27,872 in 2019).

Of these stats there are a few things to note.

Certain categories trend up (such as arrests for possession of prohibited weapons and possession of drugs) because of our officers’ proactive efforts to stop cars and suspicious individuals.

If our officers were not so diligent in their enforcement efforts, many of these crimes would go unreported or undetected, and thus would likely trend down. Furthermore, the category of stolen/recovered vehicles (being up 54%) is likely a direct result of the installation of license plate reader cameras throughout town which detect stolen cars as they enter our community. If it were not for these cameras alerting our officers of stolen vehicles traveling on our roads, this category would likely be down as well.

As you can see, our proactive efforts sometimes increase the “crime rate” because our officers actively look for violations. The other categories listed are largely trending down.

All that being written, numbers and data can only provide so much information.

Our mission as a Police Department is not only to drive down crime (again, see the numbers above) but also to improve the quality of life for those in Seal Beach.

A big portion of quality of life is how “safe” our community feels.

Our goal is to not only show that crime is down 4.41% since 2019, but that people feel safe in their homes and businesses.

We do this by having programs such as our Police Facility Dog Yosa (who helps to comfort victims of crime and community members exposed to trauma), by implementing our Police Services Dog Saurus (who is trained to detect weapons and apprehend criminals), by assigning our Community Oriented Policing Team to be visible in the summer time on the beach and in Old Town, and most importantly, by strengthening the relationships we have with the community.

If the numbers don’t speak for themselves, I hope that readers will share stories of positive interactions they’ve had with us with their friends and neighbors. Remember, we’re only a phone call away (non-emergency: (562) 594-7232, or emergency: 9-1-1).

As always, keep your questions coming Seal Beach. Email us at today!